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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > August 2017 > Break out OF YOUR SHELL


How do you get into the heads of your created characters? And make sure they are distinct? Jane Wenham-Jones offers some tips


I am beginning to think I do not have the right sort of imagination to be a writer. I can think up plots easily enough and I can visualise places – both real and imaginary – and I am told my descriptions of those are good. But I flounder when trying to imagine how other people think. Feedback on my work often includes the question – but would he/she really react like that? (My answer is always: ‘Well, I would!’) and I realise that I find it very difficult to get inside the head of anybody who is different from me. I cannot begin to write from a male point of view for example and I struggle with portraying emotional responses to any situation I haven’t experienced myself. Therefore I tend to stick to ‘write what you know’ and most of my writing is semi-autobiographical. But I want to develop as a writer. How can I move on from all my heroines being me?

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Writing for the Modern World • CRIME: Inner city inspiration with rising crime star AA Dhand • ROMANCE: How to write 21st century love stories • 'Dear Writer...' – the no-nonsense writing advice you need to read • Easy IT: The best free software for all your writing life needs • WIN! Agent feedback in our new Picture Book Prize Includes WRITERS' NEWS: 20 packed pages of competitions, opportunities to get published and insider know how. WIN! £91,361 in writing prizes

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